Benny Green

Benny Green Trio at Kerrytown Concert House

Benny Green replaced Geri Allen in the University of Michigan jazz program last fall. It was a happy occasion to hear Green playing at a local venue for the first time as he visited the Kerrytown Concert House with his New York-based trio on March 26 for two sold-out shows.

I attended the last show and was very impressed. I had heard Green some years ago at the Bird of Paradise (on Main Street) and found a more mature player this time. Green’s phenomenal technical skills are still there, but have been tempered by more playing from the heart. The pianist also worked well with his top-of-the-line band-mates: bassist David Wong and drummer Rodney Green, each of whom had plenty of solo space.

Green romped through standards, blues and bebop songs. More unusual were a couple of Cedar Walton tunes, like the tricky “Martha’s Surprise.” I was most moved by his version of “My Old Flame,” where he showed his superb keyboard touch.